In the las few weeks, I have not only gained many new readers but I have also had quite a few people reach out to ask me questions about the blog, so I thought now was a good time to remind everyone how to use this blog as a RA resource. This post, and the ones to follow in the coming days, are not only meant to help my new followers, but also will serve as a reminder to everyone, even those who have been here for the last [almost] 11 years, of what this blog can do to help you help readers and yourselves.
First I should state what RA for All is NOT: This blog is not the place you go for the most up to date news about the book world. Others do that much better than I do. You can see my Twitter feed in the right gutter of the blog where I often retweet things like interesting articles, award winners, and books news. You do not have to be a Twitter user to access this.
I do however have this post, where I talk about the three daily newsletters I subscribe to which do provide the most succinct up to date book news. I use these to keep myself in the know. I do not waste my time duplicating what they do very well already, rather I encourage you to use them to educate yourself. Again click here for a full description of how to stay in the know with minimal effort including links to my go-to resources.
Now on to what RA for All IS: This blog is first and foremost a place where I strive to inspire and assist you in your wonderful work of helping adult leisure readers in the public library.
The best place for you to begin, and honestly, for you to return to anytime you need to brush up your skills, train someone new, or just inspire yourself is my Ten Rules of Basic RA Service page. This is where I keep the most succinct and up to date information that lays out my version of RA Service.
If you go to that page and follow the links [warning some will take you down a RA rabbit hole], you will get a very good self-guided tour of the blog and my RA worldview. In the header of that page I also list the last time it was updated, which is about every 3x a year at least.
Actually, this brings up something important I should point out about the blog too. My RA worldview is very different from others. I call my blog and my company "RA for All” because I truly believe that every single person who works in the library can be a part of your service to leisure readers. No, not every person on staff is qualified to provide a professional book matching service, but everyone on staff [from the Director to the Janitor and all in between] has a part to play just by being a combination employee/user of the library. I train “library workers” not only “librarians” to serve leisure readers and help your staff find their place in the larger mission.
This blog is a repository of ideas, lists, reviews, and information published to promote my brand of RA Service, but I cannot deny it is also promoting me, the consultant. I am very honest and upfront about this at all times. It is how I make my living and I am not ashamed of it; in fact, I am proud to be out there ringing the RA bell, demanding better service to our patrons, and inspiring you to get so good at it that I put myself out of a job.
I understand that not every library can bring me out to train their staff. This is why the blog is filled with links, presentations, information, tips, etc.... for free. I am trying to give you as much of me, for free and accessible from everywhere, at anytime, as possible.
You can read the blog everyday for new ideas, but please do not lose site of the backlist of information that is available. I have worked very hard to catalog and tag everything here so that it can be searched and used as easily as possible. To help you, I am going to spend some time this week pulling out some of my more popular posts, pages, and tags from blog, in order to encourage you to poke around on your own. I am going to illustrate how to use this blog to help you train yourself and your staff, and how you can use it to help readers.
Finally, I am always interested in what you are doing at your library. Feel free to use this contact information to let me know both the things you are doing that I could share with others or to ask me to look into something for you. There is always something new we can all learn from each other, but I need your help to identify the wonderful things that are happening all over the country. Let me know and maybe you will get a guest post on RA for All.
Tomorrow, I will be back with the next installment of “How to Use RA for All."
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